Northwest NEWS

February 4, 2002

Features

New number for Washington Poison Center

The only phone number you will need to reach the Washington Poison Center or any poison center across the country, anytime and anywhere is 1-800-222-1222.
   The Washington Poison Center joins 65 other poison centers and the American Association of Poison Control Centers in announcing the new, national toll-free telephone hotline.
   The new number works just like 911. When you call 1-800-222-1222, you will be routed automatically to the nearest poison center.
   Callers in Washington state will be routed to the Washington Poison Center where they will receive the same level of expert care that callers in Washington state have always trusted.
   Callers with emergencies or questions receive immediate assistance from specially-trained team of pharmacists, nurses and poison experts backed by physician toxicologists.
   "This new 800 number is a great benefit to the public because callers only have to remember one toll-free number to connect them to poison experts," said Washington Poison Center Medical Director, William O. Robertson, M.D. "If you move or visit another state, you won't have to look up a new number. 1-800-222-1222 is still the one to call."
   Nearly 85 percent of all poisonings can be treated over the phone.
   The new 800 number will save time and inconvenience for callers plus millions of dollars in unnecessary hospital emergency visits and health care costs.
   Having one phone number will improve poison awareness and make services at poison centers more accessible for everyone.
   The Washington Poison Center will continue to provide care for people who do not speak English as a first language and to the hearing-impaired. All services are free and confidential.